mollie hemingway, tammy bruce. thank you for being with us. tomorrow byron york, gayle trotter among o >> dad had a talent. >> there's nobody out there who does what he did. he was just that good. >> but it's lost on his son. >> when you're 16 or 17 years old, the last thing you're worried about is your dad up in a building, building models. >> this strange inheritance ultimately brings them together. >> when his father was alive, he did not want larry to touch them, and i can only imagine what he's thinking n. >> how would you describe this inheritance? >> a little bit more of a journey than i was prepared for. >> so, is it time to take a new tack? >> i know you've said, larry, that you'd never seriously considered selling, but now that you hear this... ♪ [ door creaks ]
[ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] i'm jamie colby, and today i'm driving into the oldest settlement in louisiana. it's called natchitoches. it's rich in southern charm and civil war history. battles raged nearby, both along and on the red river. well, that history inspired one man's remarkable craftsmanship. but it left his son wondering what the heck to do with all the crafts. >> my name is larry atteridge. in 2008, my father passed away and left behind his life's work -- a massive fleet of amazingly detailed model ships he built from scratch. >> hi, larry. i'm jamie. >> well, hi, jamie. nice to meet you. >> great to meet you. thanks for inviting me deep into louisiana. it sure is pretty. >> well, i've got a lot to show you. come this way.
>> larry invites me in to see some of his father's civil war ships. this is one cool viewer submission. which one is that? >> this is the eastport, which was on the red river here in natchitoches parish. it was one of the largest ironclads of the civil war. it was 280 foot long, and it weighed 770 tons. >> with the civil war, i first think of great armies clashing at gettysburg, shiloh, and antietam, not naval battles. but that's the story these miniature vessels tell. when war between the states breaks out in 1861, union general winfield scott creates the anaconda plan. the idea -- blockade southern ports, take control of the mississippi, and, like a huge snake, squeeze the south into submission. the union builds a navy of more than 600 ships. >> they would commandeer boats
from people -- ferry boats, paddle-wheelers, anything that floated and they could put a gun on it. >> larry's father, william, made models of many of them. there's the c.s.s. gaines, a wooden side-wheel confederate gunboat built in mobile, alabama. there's the u.s.s. vicksburg and the c.s.s. alabama -- a massive propeller-driven ship built in secrecy in england for the confederacy. all are made precisely to scale. 1 inch here translates to 8 feet on the real vessel. where did this all begin? did dad buy a book on ship building? >> i don't remember anybody ever teaching him how to do this. it's just something you have to be born with. >> william atteridge jr. is born in 1929 in highland park, illinois, a suburb of chicago.